The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is closing several “severely outdated” exhibition halls with Native American culturally sensitive objects, Museum president Sean Decatur announced on Friday. The Eastern Woodlands and Great Plains Halls, and several smaller display cases will close Saturday. [Read more…] about American Museum of Natural History Closing Outdated Exhibits
American Museum of Natural History
As New York City reached its Silver Jubilee in 1923, one of the ways it celebrated 25 years since its formation as a greater city uniting the five boroughs was to have residents vote on the six people who had done the city the most good. Who made the Big Apple’s early honor list? [Read more…] about Archer M. Huntington: Titan Arts Patron of New York City
Until the mid-1860s the Fifth Avenue area around Madison Square was Manhattan’s “aristocratic” heart. Its brownstone mansions were occupied by the city’s elite. The gradual incursion of commerce into this residential haven started with high-class hotels.
In 1864 Hoffmann House was one of the first to open its doors. Owned by Cassius H. Read, it was located on the corner of 25th Street & Broadway and contained tree hundred rooms with all the latest conveniences. The establishment proudly advertised its lavish furnishings, carefully chosen artworks, and refined French (Parisian) cuisine. At a time that hotel living was becoming a fashionable alternative to owning a family mansion for wealthy New Yorkers, Hoffmann House was recommended as the most comfortable and homelike residence in the metropolis.
During the 1880s the hotel’s “grand salon” became one of New York’s “secretive” attractions for a very specific reason. [Read more…] about Four Nymphs, a Satyr and Manhattan’s Ladies’ Mile
Material culture stormed the British airwaves several seasons back when the BBC broadcast “A History of the World in 100 Objects.” Accompanied by a popular website which actually allows listeners to see images of the objects selected from the world class collections of the British Museum, the series fed an untapped appetite for history in small bites. Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum observed “Telling history through things is what museums are for.” [Read more…] about Kathleen Hulser: History in 100 Objects
David A. Krol has been named Executive Director of Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison, New York, effective immediately. Most recently Krol served as Deputy Director of the Lobkowicz Collections in the Czech Republic – a family collection of four castles, paintings by Brueghel, Canaletto and Velazquez, musical instruments and autograph scores by Gluck, Mozart and Beethoven, rare firearms and decorative arts, a 65,000-volume library and a large family archive. [Read more…] about Boscobel Names New Executive Director
A new book on Teddy Roosevelt by New York Times bestselling historian Douglas Brinkley is described by the publisher as “a sweeping historical narrative and eye-opening look at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, avid bird-watcher, naturalist, and the founding father of America’s conservation movement.” For those interested in the Adirondack region, this new biography helps put TR’s Adirondack experiences into the lager context of wilderness protection and wildlife conservation history.
Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials for his look at the life of what he calls our “naturalist president.” Launching from conservation work as New York State Governor, TR set aside more than 230 million acres of American wild lands between 1901 and 1909, and helped popularize the conservation of wild places.
Brinkley’s new book singles out the influential contributions of James Audubon, Charles Darwin, and John Muir in shaping Roosevelt’s view of the natural world. Some of the most interesting parts of the book relate to TR’s relationship with Dr. C. Hart Merriam, who reviewed the future president’s The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in 1877; Merriam’s own The Mammals of the Adirondacks Region of Northeastern New York, published in 1884, was duly praised by TR.
Merriam and Roosevelt later worked successfully to reverse the declining Adirondack deer population (they brought whitetail from Maine), and to outlaw jack-lighting and hunting deer with dogs and so helped establish the principles of wildlife management by New York State.
During his political stepping-stone term as 33rd Governor of New York (1899-1900) TR made the forests of the state a focus of his policies. He pushed against “the depredations of man,” the recurrent forest fires, and worked to strengthen fish and game laws. Roosevelt provided stewardship of the state’s forests and the Adirondack Park in particular, that led to the most progressive conservation and wilderness protection laws in the country.
TR also worked to replace political hacks on the New York Fisheries, Game, and Forest Commission (forerunner of the DEC), according to Brinkley, and replaced them with highly trained “independent-minded biologists, zoologists, entomologists, foresters, sportsman hunters, algae specialists, trail guides, botanists, and activists for clean rivers.” To help pay the bill he pushed for higher taxes on corporations while also pursuing a progressive politics – what Brinkley calls “an activist reformist agenda.”
The book ranges with Roosevelt to Yellowstone, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Dakota Territory, and the Big Horn Mountains. It does capture Roosevelt’s time in the Adirondacks, but its’ strength is in putting that time into the larger context of Roosevelt’s life as a wilderness conservationist. For example, TR’s opposition to the Utica Electric Light Company’s Adirondack incursions is only mentioned in passing, though Brinkley’s treatment of the relationship between Gifford Pinchot and TR is more developed. An index entry – “Adirondack National Park” – is lightly misused bringing into concern how much Brinkley really appreciates the impact of Roosevelt’s Adirondack experiences (both in-country and in Albany) on his wilderness ethic.
All in all, however, Wilderness Warrior is a well written collection of the strands of Roosevelt’s conservationist ideas, woven into a readable narrative. Considering TR’s role in so many disciplines related to our forests, that’s no mean feat.
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The Bard Graduate Center and the American Museum of Natural History announce a Research Fellowship in Museum Anthropology. The fellowship provides support to a postdoctoral investigator to carry out a specific project over a two-year period. The program is designed to advance the training of the participant by having her/him pursue a project in association with a curator in the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The Fellow will also be expected to teach one graduate-level course per year at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC). The Fellow will thus be in joint residence at BGC and AMNH. The fellowship includes free housing.
A major purpose of the BGC-AMNH Research Fellowship in Museum Anthropology is to promote mutual scholarly interest and interaction among fellows, BGC faculty and students, and AMNH staff members. Candidates for Research Fellow are judged primarily on their research abilities and experience, and on the merits and scope of the proposed research.
Candidates with a research interest in the History of Collecting for Anthropology Museums are especially encouraged to apply for the 2010-12 fellowship. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop a research program drawing from the Asian Ethnographic Collections at the AMNH. We wish to encourage scholarly investigation of how objects move from the sacred and particular to the market, and of the collecting process and the role of collectors, whether scholars, missionaries or dealers.
Application Procedures: Interested researchers should send a statement of research accomplishments and intentions, curriculum vitae including list of publications, and three letters of recommendation to Research Fellowship Competition, Bard Graduate Center, 18 W.86th Street, New York NY 10024, USA. Research Fellowship applications must be postmarked by December 15. At this time, applications are not accepted by fax or e-mail.
In his new book, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, Douglas Brinkley (Professor of History and Baker Institute Fellow, Rice University) looks at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid bird-watcher and naturalist with Adirondack ties at the American Museum of Natural History’s Linder Theater in New York City tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 pm. Admission will be $15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens).
Roosevelt was a pioneer of the conservation movement and was involved with the American Museum of Natural History from childhood. As a matter of fact, the original charter creating the Museum was signed in his family home in 1869, and the Museum has a permanent hall in tribute to Theodore Roosevelt and the contributions he made to city, state, and nation throughout his life. A book signing will follow this program.
Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History and Baker Institute Fellow, Rice University, is the author of several books, including The Unfinished Presidency, The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, and The Great Deluge (which won him the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award); he is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and an in-house historian for CBS News. He has earned several honorary doctorates for his contributions to American letters and was once called the “the best of the new generation of American historians” by the late historian Stephen E. Ambrose.
For questions regarding this event, please contact Antonia Santangelo at 212-769-5310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a recent news item regarding the re-installation of what is believed to be “probably the world’s largest mounted fish, maybe the largest piece of taxidermy in the world” – a 73-year-old, 32-foot, mounted whale shark caught off Fire Island in 1935 and believed to have weighed about 8 tons (16,000 pounds).
It has been freshly restored was unveiled at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, where it was damaged by water leakage that closed part of the museum in 1996. [Read more…] about Carl Akeley’s Taxidermy History in New York State